tv [untitled] May 18, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
>> this is a meet of the recreation and parks commission and will the secretary please call the roll. >> commissioner buell? >> here. >> commissioner low? >> here. >> commissioner arata? >> here. >> commissioner bonilla. >> commissioner harrison. >> here. >> and commissioner levitan is on her way. we are -- let me just make a couple of announcements. first of all, item 6 and 6a will be heard as one. and 6 is only a discussion item and 6a is to be voted on, but the two will be heard together. as a reminder, we ask that you turn off any electronic-sounding devices that may go off during the proceedings.
we would also ask that you please take any secondary conversations outside in order for the meeting to proceed as efficiently as possible. if you would like to speak on any item, please complete a blue card unless otherwise announced by the president, each person will have three minutes for public comment on each item. if there is any item of interest to you not on the agenda, it is under the subject-matter jurisdiction of the commission. you may speak under general public comment, which is item 4, and then continued on item 13. last, please address your comments to the commission during public comment on items in order to allow equal time for all, neither the commission, nor staff will respond to any questions during public comment. the commission may ask questions of staff, after public comment is closed. and with that, we are the president's report. >> thank you.
i understand that there is quite a line downstairs for some other item in city hall and so some of our staff may be arriving a little late, due to no fault of their own. i know that our general manager is at a morning meeting and probably will be arriving late, and so we'll get his report at the end of the agenda. let me make just a couple of comments and then i have a couple of introductions to make during my president's report. first, i would like to congratulate those folks from the zoo and the san francisco zoological society, doing a fund raising that broke all records and i think it reflects in a larger picture there is a large body of the public that genuinely loves and supports the worker that they are doing and i want to add my congratulations to everybody involved with the zoo. i think they are in good shape and doing a great job.
the san francisco botanical garden luncheon was yesterday and it was a fine gathering of folks who enthusiastical support the work that they are doing and i want to add my congratulation tosses s to them and they have a large and enthusiastic following people who are helping achieve their efforts and it was a great lunch.a separate matter, but somewhat related at chrissy field, under the auspices of the national park service the san francisco museum of modern art and conservancy have jointly sponsored a viewing and installation of seven or eight major art pieces and i highly recommend that you all take advantage of seeing it. i think saturday is the launch date for it, they are installed as we speak.
the park service is lucky enough to have the art exhibits and to get this collection from around the world to be exhibited through the auspices of moma is a great deal. do you want me to read the friends the alvarez lake? >> please. >> and we'll have a ceremony for folks connected with that and today the san francisco recreation and parks commission recognizes the group's group and for their extraordinary efforts during earth day, this past april. the work party on april 27th in celebration of earn day was a great success in all more than 32 volunteers from a variety of organizations arrived ready to work. friends of the lake and other
volunteers cleaned the lake bed of algae, removing the thick material with large shovels and rakes. the entire lake bed area was then swept clear of remaining debris and invasive weed as round the parameter of the lake, invasive breed were also removed and during the regular volunteer work days, they have achieved a great deal of success in an area of the park that creates some pep challenges. over the past six months, volunteers are mulch the perimeter of the lake and a variety of native plants have been planted around the stanyan street entrance including agave, california fuschia --
and cleared much of the debris arunted lake on behalf of the recreation and park and commission and recreation and park department we thank you for your efforts and look forward to our continued success working together to improve our public park spaces, and i will add that it just sounds like a lot of work that not everybody would look forward to doing. so we very much appreciate it and you will get -- we'll present you with a certificate, minus the general manager, who is just not here to partake. [ applause ]
>> thank you commission for this recognition and honor. it's been long number of years and we are not giving up and, in fact, friends of the lake have vision for larger projects. so we're hoping to engage parks alliance to make that area right at the end stanyan right at the end of haight near stanyan very presentable and very enjoyable for all people that come of all ages. i want to recognize karen, the original founder for the group and just recently turned the reigns to me. ted and robert, these two have partnered with me to help form the friends of the lake and to make our projects expand beyond the immediate smaller things, but to really epgage that area and turn it into a beautiful
spot and gloria has been a consistent volunteer and harry, who shows up no matter what weather is like and hopefully we'll see you every other thursday. thank you. >> [phra*-uplt/] >> this is a project we started in 2005, the east end of golden gate park to help the east end of the park department and thank you to the parks department for assigning a planner to work with our group and it just happened and it's a very, very powerful and positive move that we're going to go forward with and thanks to the recreation and park department for that. >> thank you. [applause] >> good morning i just wanted to say briefly are trying to embark on a plan as susan at cussed. goes forward we're
working with staff and hope to have your involvement and support in developing a community plan that will make the eastern end of golden gate park a showpiece for the park and the city. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] so i would like to conclude my report by asking a member of public to make a very brief presentation and to frame this issue i was always impressed with dubois park because the way the uses were allocated was not something that came from the park service and rec and park department down, but through a number of years of collaboration and many people who had an interest in the park. and the forerunner of the park alliance played a large role in that as well.
it's my view that with the 220 parks that we have in the system, that the best way, because of the competing uses of dogs on leash, dogs off-leash, playgrounds, seniors, families that want to use the park, that the best way to resolve these issues is to have the community work on their own dream for what their park ought to be and resolve those issues and bring them to us. having said that, the huntington park has been starting a process, and i wanted greg chang, who is the nob hill association president to make a brief statement on where they are. i first met greg because as a parent he was very interested in upgrading the playground there and you has moved to another role and if you could
be brief and tell us where we are, i would appreciate that greg. >> thank you, president buell and commissioners for all you do for our community. a couple of quick stories that are happy endings to some land use issues. probably aware of the masonic and live nation intensification of that location in our neighborhood and a settlement that the community signed with them that directly benefits the community and the park in particular and a couple of highlights of things that i think impact the park. one, a reduction of events from 95 to 54, a cram tick reduction of bars and traffic and vandalism in the park at night, but the most exciting part of the settle is a huntington park preservation fund. so beginning with their construction in 2014, in january, we'll get some upfront cash payments and a percentage
of ticket sales over 20 years, that will be in an amount between $1 million and $3 million and to be able to put investment in the capital structure and over time to be able to maintain it. the community has worked hard to be very transparent many this process, so that nobody is surprised. we already started to have a number of conversations with all of the different constituencies and we're going to have public meetings in june and the other sort of part of the story is a really exciting opportunity that we have. greg, our new park chairman is doing a little digging and chronicle books that talk about nob hill neighborhoods and there was a fence around the huntington mansion that was rumored to go somewhere down the peninsula and greg started to make some calls and found the fence, the original huntington fence. in 1914 the flood family attorney bought it from huntedington and put it on boxcars to mental menlo park
and there is a preservationist who wants to sell it to us and we have a memorandum of understanding and we're going to have community meetings to talk what that looks like and feel like. pretty exciting to bring back a 100-year-old fence back to its original location. thank you for the time. >> greg, thank you. that concludes the president's report. >> is there any public comment on the president's report? being none, public comment is closed. commissioner, did you want to go to general manager's report? >> we'll put the general manager's report at the end of the meeting and move on to general public comment. >> so we're now on item 4, general public comment up to 15 minutes at this time, members of the public may address the commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the commission and that do not appear on the agenda.
with respect to agenda items your opportunity to address the commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. and i do have one card, linda lighthouser. >> good morning, commissioners, today i am here to represent a group called friends of the amphitheater in mcclaren park. i am happy to announce that we have a plan to produce six free family-friendly events and concerts at amphitheater later this year. we're calling this project "saturday in the park mcclaren." and it will start to take place from august 17 to october 26th. we're very excited about this project for a number of reasons of it's been five years in the making, a lot of talking about how some kind of a process could take place. we forged an exciting collaboration with the rec and park department in two
divisions particularly, permits and reservations and volunteer services. we're also fiscally sponsored by the san francisco parks alliance and we have the support of the community. this small project is about engaging our neighbors in the communities that are around the park to be both the producers and performers at the amphitheater and to put on events. some of these events will be geared strictly towards children and very young children, who have not had any opportunity to have events at that venue. we're also putting together the first-ever dosant program at the amphitheater and this will be able to support the department with oversight and supervision of events which is something that hasn't been able to take place in the place and we're would welcoming with ingleside police and park patrol to create assistance in putting that piece into effect. the amphitheater is an amazing
place, but it has its challenges, partly because of the remote, and so the dosant program is very key to this. we think we hit on a good process and we want to keep the commission informed as we go along and move through the program and we're very excited. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> is there anyone else who would like to make general public comment? being none, the item is closed and wire on item 5 the consent calendar. any public comment on the consent calendar? soing none, public comment is closed. commissioners. >> move to approve. >> second. >> moved and seconded. all those in favor, ? >> aye. >> so moved >> we are now on item 6, and 6a.
the san francisco zoogical society and their request for an increase to admission fees. >> good morning. thank you for your kind remarks earlier. i will start with attendance and try to make the first part move more quickly, since we have the second part. where we are with attendance year-to-date is 727,374 visitors verse projections of 627,800 visitors. so as we end our fiscal year we are nearly 100,000 visitors ahead of schedule and quite an amazing job by everyone and i know a lot of it had to do with the tiger cub coming at the time. it's that time of year, that is
actually a little penguin poping there and popping there and you will be able to work with the penguin and teach them how to be hand-fed. for memorial day day thanks to red [ro-fr/] we'll have rover, we'll have three days events. san francisco zoo board is very appreciative of mr. buell's efforts on saturday. there it is, taking it by storm. this is the most we have ever
raised at the zoo in a zoo fest and president buell knows when to ask for an item twice and boy, can we work a room. so the tiger was not named mr. buell, but instead, we have her name is now jillian after the big stoner, but the board wanted to send a contribution to the sumatra tiger fund and it's not the real thing, president buell, but thank you again for your help. it was just an amazing evening. >> you can't sell something if it's not popular and you it the right people in the audience and items. it was great. >> thank you. >> so this fall, we are seeking during our fiscal year
a $2 price increase to apply to all categories. i have a powerpoint. there it is. the reasons for the price increase, we set them here -- let me give you some background. we won't change? some of the free programs that we have for san francisco residents. you see children under 3 are free and there is a rider discount and there is free access for certain groups that apply through the department of children, youth and families. so we will be happy to continue that throughout the fiscal year. like everything, prices and operating costs are going up for the zoo and we have not had a price increase since september, 2008. when we did that, we saw minor
breakage. we made up for it in differences through an increased revenue and bottom line. we believe that the proposed pricing is competitive both with zoos in the area and local attractions. cumulative costs of living for example, has increased 27.5%, our labor costs have increased 2.5%. we continue to make capital investments and improvements both at the exhibits and animal wellness and improvements and unfortunately all of those cost money. thus the increase right now an adult who does not live in san francisco is $15. an adult who does live in san francisco is $12, but we'll be increasing that by $2 come fall, if it is approved. you can see the other categories there. i outlined more specifically the cpi increases since our last price increase in 2008. there were some big increases
in 2008, as well as 2011. again cumulative, cpi increasing 27%. in all categories our costs are going up, not a surprise that one of the biggest is health insurance. but at the bottom there, the water rate, because of a change in the law. now we now actually pay for water. when we first took over zoo operations we did not have to pay and that has made a big adjustment in our operating costs. i will show you where the other folks in town are. you see there is our rates at the top. starting with the museum of modern art and going down to the big guys, we say the academy of sciences at $29.90 and we feel for a san francisco resident moving to $14 will be fairly competitive with the local institutions. and here those for look visually you will see where san
francisco falls out compared to our peer institutions, certainly not anywhere close to the top. here we are comparing ourselves to other zoos and again, even right now the oakland zoo, a much smaller zoo is more expensive than the san francisco zoo and you drop down to some of our peer zoos, philadelphia zoo, minnesota zoo at $18 and $20 and also, different urban settings. and again, visually, where we would fall out with our peer zoological institutions. we will be, if all goes well, we would be making this price increase in conjunction with a temporary bug exhibit, as well as a new playground, so that the customer feels that there is still value. that would be the fall. also the bulk of our attendance is the summer months and we have left the summer months untouched. again we'll be starting our fiscal year like yours july 1st. with that i have finished my
presentation. >> public comment? >> is there any public comment on this item? being none, public comment is closed. commissioners. >> commissioner low? >> miss peterson i just had a question with the fee increase and there is a certain price elasticity that is associated with fee increases. do you anticipate there is going to be a drop in attendance with this fee increase? >> yes, we had a slight breakage as we say or drop in attendance when we did it in 2008. it was more than made up for by the revenue gain we got by increasing the ticket. we also feel by doing it in conjunction with the temporary exhibit and the flay playground there will be a provided value and looking at exploratorium, we would still be competitive [stkwr*-frplt/]
the drop-off in attendance, is that by resident or non-resident. >> at the start of the recession in 2008, there was minimal dropage because of it. >> and does this -- this has to go to the board for approval? >> no, this is us. >> just us. >> so let me comment as the member of zoo committee, commissioners arata and i sit on the zoo committee and i thought the staff did a good job of presenting the economics of the situation. i think when you see the cpi going up over the period of time since the last increase at 27%, this doesn't represent a 27% increase. so i think they are trying to be efficient and yet be competitive and so i want to compliment the staff on trying to stay within the limits to allow the maximum public enjoyment of the zoo. with that, seeing no other questions i will entertain a motion. >> so moved. >> seconded. >> all those in favor? >> aye. >> so moved. thank you very much.
>> we are now on item 7, grant acceptance, the afghanistan san francisco parks alliance. >> commissioners i am lisa bransten and i am here today to ask discussion and possible agency to accept $67,011 in the for of no. 1 a cash grant of $32,011 to suspect a new venting system in the parks greenhouse, two pairs of dual stream recycling containers for golden gate and rec and park and in-kind grant of $35,000 to support various rec and park
projects. this is part of the event held at the angler's lodge. the cash portion would fund three important projects for the department. no. 1 is $15,000 of this gift would go for installing an automatic venting system in the greenhouse in the golden gate park nursery. and this is very important because right now the venting system is manually operated and if there is a temperature change, which there is likely to be in golden gate park, if there is not someone there to open or close the develops, then the temperature in the greenhouse can change dramatically, and that hurts the flourishing of the plants inside. another $10,000 of this gift would go to install two sets of recycling containers in golden gate park, so that visitors have a place to dispose of
paper, cans, bottles and other recyclables and thus keep them out of the local landfills. and lastly, just a bit over $7,000 of this grant would go to rec and park scholarships, which as you all know is a very important program of the department that allows access to recreation and specifically the department's programming for all san franciscans regardless of their ability to pay. and then the second part of this grant will be used to fund special projects for the department throughout the year and these are generally unexpected expenses and also used to recognize the hard work of rec and park staff. >> do we have park comment? any public comment on item 7?
>> good morning commissioners, executive director of the park alliance and on behalf of the board and staff and volunteers and 700 plus people who attended the party last fall, including i think all of you wanted to just acknowledge the hard work of the rec and park department, and the value of this as an example of public-private partnership and highlight value of the ventilation system. it's not very sexy, but it's the kind of thing that a little bit of private philanthropy can go a long way at nursery and at the same time improving the productivity of the nursery itself, in terms of lisa pointed out the quality and the productivity of that terms
of nurturing new plants into the park system. it will have a long-term ranging impact on the park system citywide and we're honored to be of assistance for making that contribution, as well as others coming out of the event. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> any other public comment on the item? being none, public comment is closed. >> commissioner levitan. >> just a comment, the reason that operations put this on the general calendar was to make sure we all had an opportunity to hear, just as mr. o'grady said, the extreme value this partnership brings us and that event brought us and we're very grateful to everybody. >> with that is there a motion. >> so moved. >> seconded. >> moved and second, all in favor? >> aye. >> so moved. >> we're on item 8,